Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Tour Day 18 and 19

I've got to stop staying at cheap motels.

After a lovely stay in Philly last night, bunking with my buddy Jim Coursey in his deluxe Hampton Inn suite, I cruised into NY.

I did nine signings in PA (including one with Jim Munchel in Camp Hill who had 110 copies of my books) and spent the night hours drinking Yuengling lager with Mr. Coursey. The next morning, I headed to the Big Apple on four hours of sleep. After a wonderful lunch with Leslie Wells and her niece, I was so wiped out I had to take a nap.

In an effort to keep down costs I decided to stay in New Jersey, and my trusty GPS led me to the appropriately named Budget Inn in Elizabeth. While the Knight's Inn has this place beat in terms of squalor, this room should win some sort of award for worst odor. It smells like someone murdered a hooker on the bed. And after the murder, they smoked eight thousand cigarettes, while farting. Next hotel, I swear I'll get a room that costs more than fifty bucks.

I was asleep the moment my head hit the smelly limp thing the Inn's proprietors optimistically refer to as a pillow. I awoke in the early evening, and visited some stores in Staten Island and around Jersey. I'll post a complete list of stores tomorrow night (perhaps) but in the meantime here's the stats:

Miles driven so far: 4604
Bookstores visited so far: 156
Books signed so far: 1332
Books hand sold so far: 143
Bookstores remaining: 344
Nights in crappy hotels: 5

The Backspace Conference is happening this weekend, at the reknowned Algonquin Hotel in NYC. I'll be doing the toastmaster thing, and I believe I'm also on some sort of panel. Tomorrow I'm hitting Manhattan with my publicist and we're going to visit at least 15 stores. But now, the lumpy bed beckons...

16 comments:

emeraldcite said...

Yuengling is, by far, the best beer ever.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Glad to see you're still alive, Joe. Before you nodded off, did you check to make sure the dead hooker wasn't actually STILL in bed with you?

Richard said...

Carry a bottle of Oust. And stop renting rooms that still have police caution tape across the door.

Tasha Alexander said...

Oh, Joe.....A couple nights in the Algonquin should make you forget all about the dead hooker.

emeraldcite said...

Glad to see you're still alive, Joe. Before you nodded off, did you check to make sure the dead hooker wasn't actually STILL in bed with you?

That reminds me a great scene in Four Rooms...

I second the bottle of Oust or Febreeze.

Nose plugs might work just as well.

PJ Parrish said...

This reminds me of the time I went camping with my first husband in Europe in October. The bastard was so cheap we brought our own freeze-dried bags of food. After two weeks of shivering in a friggin' tent and washing my hair in water colder than a Kirkus reviewer's soul, I went ballistic.

We checked into a hotel the next night, hot showers and fresh trout. The rule then became three nights in a tent and one night in a hotel of my choosing.

It didn't save the marriage but at least my hair was clean and I didn't have bug bites on my ass when I woke up.

So Joe...buddy...three nights at the roach motel but then treat yourself to at least a Best Western. You deserve it.

Jude Hardin said...

LOL, Kris. You'll have to tell us all about that European "vacation" sometime.

Joe: For a cheap place to stay while you're on the road, I've always found Motel 6 pretty good.

Jana Oliver said...

As a road warrior on the cheap, I can recommend Microtel Inns. They have free wi-fi, free long distance and though spartan, they're clean. I'm in one tonight on the way to Raleigh. $53 and you get a continental breakfast. Dead hookers cost extra...

Corky said...

Hi Joe,

went to the BN store in Plainfield IN where your schedule said you had been on July 5th. They didn't have any of your books and had not heard from you. Are you going to have signed copies of Rusty Nail available on your website after the tour?

Bonnie Calhoun said...

Yikes! Squalor! Watch out for bedbugs...their nasty!

William G. said...

"It smells like someone murdered a hooker on the bed. And after the murder, they smoked eight thousand cigarettes, while farting."

Ah... that must be the part of the glamorous writing lifestyle they don't tell you about in college.

Christine said...

Ack, don't you know never to stay in Elizabeth??? Anywhere... in... Elizabeth. Ick.

Christine said...

Oh, and I'm off to the bookstore today, so I'll look for yours... little footprints of where you've been.

Jaye Patrick said...

On the positive side of staying in nasty hotels: you can use it in your next book!

Elizabeth said...

There's an art to cheap hotels. They have to have just the right balance of low price and clean sheets. A little atmosphere, perhaps a distant train whistle, helps.

Police caution tape is definitely a bad sign.

cyberoutlaw said...

Saw some of your signed paperback copies at the Barnes & Noble in Union Square in Manhattan today.

Hope you tried Yuengling's Black & Tan back in PA. It used to be very good.